3 Things You Need to Know About Safety Managers
Safety is always our top priority in construction, and we can thank Safety Managers for their hard work to protect our workers. Safety Managers develop and evaluate safety procedures that help keep people and property on job sites stay safe each day.
But, they do so much more than that. Here are 3 things you need to know about why Safety Managers are so important in the construction industry.
1. They don’t just enforce the rules — they help create a shared safety culture among workers.
Construction is like one big family, and family looks out for each other to stay safe. While rules and procedures are important, sharing a culture of safety and accountability among workers is just as critical. Safety Managers play a big part in creating and maintaining this culture.
Randy Franklin, CSP, the Corporate Safety Director at Griffith Company, says the shared values of a company are how they keep each other safe.
“By sharing our values of genuine care and concern, professionalism, honesty, integrity and value for our clients, we communicate from the same time and space, […] which makes it easy to share the common goal and philosophy that ‘no one gets hurt’ or ‘we all go home at the end of the day in the same condition (or better) than when we arrived,’” says Franklin.
2. Their oversight makes projects run more smoothly — and saves the company money.
While they oversee that rules and regulations are being met on job sites, Safety Managers are still concerned with productivity. In fact, their work can help projects run more smoothly and save companies time and money in the long run, all while ensuring workers stay safe.
“One of the biggest misconceptions about my job is that it hampers productivity,” says Odie J. Miller, CHST, a Safety Manager at Flatiron Construction. “The truth is that a job that is well planned runs smoother and has a more profitable bottom line. Injuries are expensive and disrupt production. It only makes sense to make safety an integral part of a plan for a project’s success, which we have done at Flatiron project to project.”
3. The most important tool they use is… their brain.
Like the title suggests, Safety Managers are part of a broader management team, making leadership and interpersonal skills a main part of the job.
Reese Fortin, the Area Safety Manager at Sundt Construction, adds that “successful safety managers must have the ability to influence others” on the job site.
“Our job as safety managers is not to make people follow safety procedures, but to influence them to appreciate safety,” says Fortin.
On top of managing day-to-day operations, they work with diverse workers and personalities to meet their unique needs and concerns. So, Safety Managers use a clear mind to make judgments for the benefit and safety of each worker at a company.
“Sure, we have our policies, procedures, checklists, task hazard analysis, behavioral observations, and a whole cadre of safety tools we use in the performance of our duties, but at the end of the day, it is that ‘trusted advisor’ role and interpersonal relationships that really makes the difference,” says Franklin.